An Ohio man will spend more than five years for his role in extorting more than $1 million from a former Bethany College employee.
According to United States Attorney, William J. Ihlenfeld, II, Jason Kirkland Weese, 31, of East Liverpool, Ohio, will serve 63 months in prison.
An investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department revealed that Weese exchanged sexually explicit text messages and photographs with a female employee of Bethany College who was embezzling money from the school. Weese then threatened to disclose the female employee’s theft and the illicit relationship.
He used the messages and photographs along with threats of physical force to coerce the female employee into giving him large amounts of the stolen money. Weese and his wife used the embezzled funds to make a variety of luxury purchases, including a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro.
Weese pleaded guilty in June 2014 to one count of “Extortion Conspiracy” and one count of “Aiding and Abetting Money Laundering.” He was sentenced to 63 months on each count, to be served concurrently for a total of 63 months in prison.
As part of the sentence, Weese was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,037,398.52. He will also forfeit nearly $700,000.00, a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro along with certain aftermarket accessories, a 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, a 2013 Honda TRX90X all-terrain vehicle, and a Toro Timecutter MX4260 lawnmower.